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NA4LSOHCBUT [Not ANOTHER 4.0L SOHC Build Up Thread!]

Hopefully this doesn't turn in to a "Jakee" thread :D , but we'll see....

This is the wife's 1998 Explorer Sport. 85,000 miles and she's decided it's "Mod'n Time"! She's a Daily Driver with some minor mods, but the brakes were completely toasted on a trip to Cali last September. 4,000ft elevation changes on 48 miles of twisting, ungraded dirt roads left us on the side of the road for an hour in a cloud of smelly brake fumes before I got any brake pedal feel at all back.

Obviously, we have our starting point... stopping. :confused:

Because it is a Daily Driver, there isn't any room for long down times or trial-and-error "fitting" sessions. Everything has to be comercially available, in stock and easily replaced. Since this is the first time we've EVER had brake problems (this is her second "Sport"), we figured an upgrade was needed instead of getting in to a "big-brake" fiasco. After consulting a half dozen "Pros" from various sites, we came up with a parts list.

Power Slot 8551CSR/8551CSL for the front,
Power Slot 8552CSR/8552CSL for the rear, and Hawk Pads for all.

Well, the ABS light now flashes after a sudden stop, so the parts are on order:

These are the cryo-treated slotted rotors since everyone agreed that the dimples and cross-drilling was more cosmetic than anything else. I was going to get the regular Power Slot rotors and have them cryo'd locally, but I got a good deal on them already done, with free shipping (over 64lbs!). I'll post who/where and how much once I've received them, and I'm sure they meet my needs.

I'll be doing a braking test (data-logged) as-is, and again with just a fluid flush (possible DOT 5), since the fuild is almost 2 years old. After that, the parts will be installed and properly bedded before any other testing happens. It won't be a real side-by-side comparison, since the failures were heat related, but I'm pretty sure we won't get the brakes that hot again here in Seattle.

After the brakes are done, it is a fresh set of intake gaskets and matched injectors, a custom "Y-Pipe"/Cat set up (to get the cats off the trans pan!), a Cat-Back Exhaust and a quality CAI.

The goals:
Better stopping
Better mileage
More power
 



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Jakee

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What do you mean "not another Jakee" thread. Oviously people are interested in what I'm doing cuss there's plenty of views! don't be a hater fredness.

Good luck to you.
 






Fredness

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It's actually the other way around...
I'm hoping I don't see the level of "haters" that your thread did, I like what you're doing and I'm glad to see you're taking the time to document it.

My aspirations are about the same as yours, I just have to do them in a different order, since the brakes ARE bad, I'll start there...
 






Jakee

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It's actually the other way around...
I'm hoping I don't see the level of "haters" that your thread did, I like what you're doing and I'm glad to see you're taking the time to document it.

My aspirations are about the same as yours, I just have to do them in a different order, since the brakes ARE bad, I'll start there...


oops...Now I feel like an a$$

I apoligize. I guess I get a little defensive in here. It seems like anyone in the "lime-Light" is going to have rocks thrown at them from all angles. Beware!

My intintions are to help others. Maybe you can help others in this thread. Document the heck out of everything! Back it up with data! (that's what I'm trying to get done)

Good luck, and you will be VERY happy with your choice of brakes and rotors. I have the same thing and this truck stops on a dime!
 






Fredness

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:D no harm done...

I'm guessing that the new rotors will be a 0% improvement in braking (over new factory pieces), but the new pads will be helpful. The "Cryo" is mostly for longevity, I've been told they cut rotor wear by 60% or more. More aggressive pads = greater rotor wear, so this should be improved braking and normal (or longer) wear. Ideally, I would install the rotors with "factory" pads to compare, but I'm just not that motivated.

I would love to see if I could heat the crap out of these stockers and get them to go "mushy" again while testing. My hope is that this data will at least get everyone to flush their brake fluid every 2 years or less...

I'll also be previewing some cool test strips for the brake fluid, they're in the mail too.
 






Jakee

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No - I'm not as scientific as some. I know my truck well and I know about how long it use to take me to stop from 60 MPH (In a hurry).

When I added the slotted rotors and hawk pads, I could feel the difference in the G's...Again, hopefully you can prove the distance in braking between the two.
 






jah81592

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Good luck! Fredness if there is any hard parts I can supply just let me know.
 






Afboy143

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For power, Ill list the mods I did from (what I felt) did the most, to what did the least

Cat back exhaust (Y pipe into 2.5" single in/single out flowmaster original 40)
KKM Intake
Black Magic e-Fan
93 octane Tune
Ported and shafted TB
water wetter (keeps engine temps down)

I would also do a full tuneup to restore lost power from age. Tranny flush, syn oil, new plugs/wire. Maybe add a tranny cooler to help keep temps down if your going to be on it a lot.

The only other things I would add that I havent done are
UD pulley
larger MAF
remove secondary cats
C&M supercharger kit + M90 Eaton blower hehehehe but thats around 2g's
 






Fredness

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Well, so much for saving a couple dollars...

buybrakes.com order was placed 2-10-07 with an email reply saying my order will be shipping in a day or so - total was $600 for 4 rotors and 4 sets of Hawk pads, no one would price match or give free shipping (82 lbs!!!).

Today, I called to get a status, since their website says 2 weeks for Cryo rotors. Here's the email reply:

"Sent: Wed Feb 28

In looking into the status of your order I found the following parts were on backorder. The expected ship dates are shown below with the associated part #'s

(1) 8551CSL Power Slot Cryo Tempered Brake Rotor Expected Ship Date: March 19-23, 2007
(1) 8551CSR Power Slot Cryo Tempered Brake Rotor Expected Ship Date: March 19-23, 2007
(1) 8552CSR Power Slot Cryo Tempered Brake Rotor Expected Ship Date: March 26-30, 2007
(1) 8552CSL Power Slot Cryo Tempered Brake Rotor Expected Ship Date: March 26-30, 2007"

Wow, backordered for 6-7 weeks and not so much as a call or email telling me this. So, regardless of how good the brakes are, you won't be hearing any good things about buybrakes.com from me. Free shipping is nice, but not if they are being shipped on the proverbial "slow boat from China".

The brake fluid test strips are in, so it looks like this weekend instead of the full brake swap, it will be some initial 60-0 brake tests and a brake fluid test/flush afterwards.
 






Afboy143

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efff that
I would have just got the rotors off ebay and ceramics at advance auto and call it a day
 






Afboy143

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Fredness

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While this thread isn't to discuss the virtues of one rotor over another (there are a dozen found using the "search" button), I can tell you that I have spent a great deal of time researching these mods and I can only trust/recommend a few brands: Brembo, NAPA or Power Slot. They use new US/German OEM quality parts and not Asian-Import cast knock off's like those appearing on eBay for $25 a rotor [no, I wish I was kidding].

For 25% less than I was quoted for having "new" (non-Ford) parts installed, I'm doing the work myself and using far superior pieces.

Brakes are the most important system on the vehicle and to count pennies while doing a brake job is just bad juju. I've already exceeded the braking systems capabilities. Adding larger tires, a 5" lift and adding more horsepower won't make things better! I have no intention to cause any further "degradation", just to save money. Look up some of the brake pad sites, generic "carbon-metallic" pads INCREASE braking distance over OEM pads. If you aren't frightened by that alone, I'm concerned.

Anyhow, back to the thread:

Test strips rock!

I wasn't sure if I wanted to order 100 test strips to start with (~$50), so I decided to check eBay. I won an auction for 10 test strips ($9). These strips don't measure moisture (since they would require extra protection in shipping/storage and ultimately be suspect if used in a damp environment - like Washington), they actually measure the loss of the fluids' corrosion inhibiters. So, if the test "fails", it is because your fluid can't properly protect against moisture. Since we know that brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air) it goes without saying that your fluid has moisture in it.

So, I used 2 test strips this morning. One on the 1998 Explorer with 2.5 year old fluid. The entire system was flushed when we bought the vehicle (used) from the local Ford Dealer. Needless to say, it failed (FASCAR rating 88), because we know the fluid was bad when it actually boiled in the lines (see above).

Now, my 2005 Focus (purchased in Sept '05, so it has only been in my possession 18 months) has already logged 51,000 highway miles. The reading was a FASCAR 75 and that means that flushing is "recommended" - dead on!

My tests tonight will include a closed can of old brake fluid that has been "properly stored" in the garage and a fresh sample to act as a "control group".

The verdict? $2 VERY well spent (I used 2 strips of 10 that cost $10) - Please, test or replace your brake fluid every 2 years. Tonight I'm sure I'll prove you should throw away those cans of fluid you're "saving" in the garage...

Next: Brake testing, fluid flush and more testing...
 

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Fredness

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Here's what we've all been waiting for, OK, not everyone...

Using the XCal2, I data-logged RPM, Throttle Position, vehicle speed. Most people time 0-60 measurements (and 60-0) from a "go", meaning there is a "reaction time" element to these numbers. If I used just the vehicle speed portion of the equation, this reaction time would be excluded and the results (time) would be shorter, and somewhat tainted. To keep things on an even keel, I'm going to use the TP (Throttle Position) as the official starting point, and use the Vehicle Speed at the end.

Since my speedo is dead on (search), this is not an issue with accuracy either.

So, we find a nice area away from traffic. This just happens to be near an airfield that has 6 ft chain link fence on either side of the road for over 2 miles of straight, level road - Safety First!!!!

Run. 0-60 Time (With R/T), IAT, notes; 60-0, 60-28.5, braking notes were as follows:
1. 9.618 seconds, IAT 84 drop to 64, no spin, felt good; 5.518 sec, 3.017 sec, Brakes felt cold, but good.
2. 9.733 seconds, IAT 70 drop to 62, no spin, felt good; 5.855 sec, 3.243 sec, Brakes felt good, warmed.
3. 9.453 seconds, IAT 68 drop to 62, best run, aggressive, bad spin; Not Available, 2.995 sec,

On the third run, the 60-28.5MPH deceleration was quicker (Brakes were hot and REALLY gripped), although the laptop was secured to the passenger side floorboard, the USB Cable to the XCal2 in the rear of the laptop was crushed, and the data-logging ended at 28.5MPH (hence the strange number). From about 20 MPH to 0 the brakes began to fail, with the pedal getting VERY soft, and braking was obviously impaired.

At no time on the slightly damp roadway did the ABS ever pulse the brake pedal! Hmmm....

Since the brakes were having obvious signs of failure, I did not feel safe doing another run, just to capture the picture on the data-log. Risks far outweighed any potencial benefits (including the "coolness" factor).

Then the brake fluid was changed.

WARNING: Since this is an ABS system, ANY air introduced in to the system will cripple your ABS. If you have any doubts or questions; do what I did and have a trusted shop do it. Ford wanted $110, Les Schwab (the local tire/brake franchise) did it for $53. The tech who did the flush stated that the fluid "looked OK, but it was dark". He said he did not notice any air, chunks or water in the recovered fluid.

So, back to the testing grounds! I whole heartedly thought this was going to be a waste of time, but to keep the math straight, I figure WTF, I'll do two more runs for kicks.

Run. 0-60 Time (With R/T), notes; 60-0, 60-28.5, braking notes were as follows:
4. 9.04 sec, Hard accelleration, no spin; 4.692 sec, 2.324 sec, Radical braking, multiple ABS actions, 5 detects
5. 9.375 sec, Hard accelleration, no spin; 4.503 sec, 2.012 sec, Hardest braking yet, 4 detects

So, check this out, I have better braking with the new fluid (old stuff was 2.5 years old), and the ABS system was working harder on the dry pavement than it was on the slightly damp morning runs.

5.6865 seconds 60-0 averaged over runs 1 and 2 (3 failed)
4.5975 seconds 60-0 averaged over runs 4 and 5

1.089 seconds shorter stopping, that is a 19% improvement in the stopping time. Wow, I wasn't expecting that!

Datalog screen shots are BrakeOldFluid on the top and BrakeNewFluid on the bottom.
You can see the ABS activation as vehicle speed spikes on the lower graph.
Yellow = RPM
Purple = Throttle Position
Red = Vehicle Speed

As a side note, the XCal2 also gives you "computed net engine torque", knowing torque and RPM we can compute Horsepower.
My peak torque was at 2929 RPM's and it was 212 lb/ft, this is 118HP (computed).
At 5252 RPM's, torque is equal to HP at 184 each.
Max RPM was 5877, this was 162 lb/ft of torque and 181 Horsepower at the flywheel.

Man, the things you can do with data-logging!
 

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Afboy143

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good job fredness! So new fluid alone caused you to have 19% increased stopping power?
 






Fredness

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Yep, I was not expecting that at all.
I was hoping just to stop the boiling and to protect the new parts going on.

Nice surprise.

While I was at it, I did some hacking and turned the XCal2 data-logs in to a dyno:

Max torque: 212lb/ft
Max HP: 187hp
Max RPM 5877 (shift point)
 

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foxy

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Guys, May I ask what brake fluid did you use as mine needs changing badly or what one would you recommend for heavy duty work ie towing and such
 






Fredness

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Just fresh, clean DOT 3 to keep things simple and cheap.
Most DOT 3/4 fluids can be mixed freely without any problems. I ran DOT 5 (Synth) in previous efforts, but it didn't absorb water, water just contaminated the fluid and stayed in bubbles/clusters instead of being spread out. If you added DOT 3/4 accidentally (or your oil change place does), you've contaminated the system and can be in trouble. Using a good DOT 3/4 conventional brake fluid avoids those hassles....
 






foxy

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Mate , Thanks, guys like you have helped me so much and saved me so much it keeps the "other half" happy and me busy I love it .
 






Fredness

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http://frybrid.com/brake.htm

Here's a great article on DOT 3/4 vs. DOT 5. I'm a "born-again" DOT 3 user. Been there, tried that, came back to the DOT 3. I've never switched from synthetic lubricants, but brake fluid needs to absorb moisture, so it can be flushed every 2 years. I'm sold.
 



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jah81592

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Fred,
Alot of people think because it is written in a editorial (Magazine) that if they use product X in a race car that it is better than conventional and that isn't necessarily true. I have personally been using DOT3 synthetic in my truck for years and flush the system myself every six months. The brakes feel as there has been a new breath of life into them when this is done. I am very impressed to see that you are analyzing the data and looking at the obvious. I have also used the DOT5 and what people dont realize it that 3 & 5 DON'T mix. So if they want to convert to 5 then an entire flush will be of order. The reason alot of teams use DOT5 is because of the higher boiling point but it is only temporary. This is racing and the street poses a whole new envelope of problems (DOT waterabsorbsion rate is higher, so if the system isn't maintained properly braking can therefore be reduced in comparision to DOT3). I have seen too many ASE tests with DOT3 being superior to Dot5 on the street.
 






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